"Apache, the licence-free Unix web server, has been adopted by
some 1.4 million new websites worldwide in the last month.
The gains coincide with the first alpha release of a new version
of the operating system, called Apache 2, which has some new
features including support for threads. These improve performance
Apache is now used at 7.9 million sites worldwide, compared with
6.5 million at the same point last month, according to the figures
published today by UK-based internet consultant Netcraft.
Nearly all websites that use Apache run on a variety of Unix,
with many users choosing to download Apache and install it on Linux
- which could potentially cost nothing.
Mike Prettejohn, director of Netcraft, said: "Most Apache
servers run on Unix. Linux is the most popular followed by Sun
Microsystems' Solaris. Apache is the leading Unix server and Linux
is becoming the most popular operating system on the internet."
Netcraft's survey received responses from more than 13 million
sites. Pettejohn said the number of new sites shows that the
"internet is getting bigger and bigger each month".
"Network Solutions [the domain name registration company] is
allocating a new domain name every 1.5 seconds. In 1996 when we
first started surveying use, there were 3000 certified sites. The
web grew by more than 3000 certified sites last month alone.
Ecommerce and hosting services are booming," he added.
Apache's share of the worldwide web server market grew from 58
per cent in February to 60 percent this month. Microsoft's Internet
Information Server (IIS) fell from around 22 per cent to 21
percent, and third placed Netscape Enterprise Server held the
number three spot with around seven per cent.
Pettejohn said the figures show that Microsoft is not doing as
well as Apache in absolute terms. But the number of Windows 2000
sites, which comes with the latest release of IIS 5.0, has
"Windows 2000 grew from 20,000 sites to more than 40,000 sites
during the month," he said. "There were more Windows 2000 sites on
the internet than HP UX sites, and it has overtaken IBM's AIX in
terms of number of internet websites."
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